Social Democrats Co-Leader Róisín Shortall TD has called again on the Minister for Health to urgently halt the proposed funding cuts to Disability Services.

Deputy Shortall said:

“The new Minister for Health has not provided assurance that the disgraceful funding cuts to the disability sector will be halted, or reversed where they have already taken place. It’s just not good enough for the Minister to say he doesn’t know if cuts would be made or not.

“Last January, the then Government imposed a €20m cut across the board cut to key disability groups and services. It appears that the HSE are still proceeding with the cuts, if not already implementing them in some cases.

“Fianna Fail in opposition, and the Minister for Health in particular, promised to reverse the cuts if they were in Government. The disability sector are awaiting clarity on whether that promise will be fulfilled or not.

“At a time when the services of disability groups are so urgently required, and when their fundraising base has been decimated due to the impact of Covid19 with major cutbacks in services provided to the most vulnerable citizens, the idea that the Government would continue to impose these proposed cuts is just disgraceful.

“We urgently need clarification from the Minister for Health that these cuts will be halted, or refunded where they have been imposed, and that a plan will be developed in conjunction with disability organisations to provide financial stability so they can continue to provide their services to people living with disabilities and to their carers and families.

“These organisations, who provide vital services to struggling families and individuals and who play a huge role in trying to make life better for people, are needed even more now in the context of the huge additional challenges and pressures for people with disabilities, their carers and families due to the Covid19 pandemic.

The Minister for Health was responding to questioning from Deputy Shortall in the Dáil.


25th July 2020

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